- The 55-gallon water barrel that my mom purchased and then left in the back yard being filled completely by rain water for about 10 years (shameful, I know).
- Making an emergency kit and having my brother eat the granola bars from it later
- A map, route, and meeting place to reconnect with the family in case of emergency.
Well definitely keep an eye on the sales items when starting to collect supplies on a tight budget. Don’t rule out grocery sale items either, like canned Chili, Canned Ravioli, Canned Tuna, but make sure to get it with the farest out expiration date possible. That might mean looking at all the cans on the shelf, but it’s worth it. I won’t pick up canned store items with expiration dates less than a year. Remember to use them up by or shortly after the expiration date if purchased from a grocery store. Sometimes canned pie fillings and such at stores have longer expiration dates, so if they are on sale sometimes it’s worth buying them. Of course the things with the shorter expiration dates would have to be used first in an emergency instead of your longer Emergency Essentials food supplies. They would just supplement your Emergency Essentials food supply. Plus if you have canning supplies or have relatives not using theirs and would donate them to you, you could go to pick your own farms, then can the items you purchased for a price usually cheaper than store prices that you picked yourself.
In our case, being on a severe budget, we have followed a basic two pronged approach to "day to day" food storage..
(and then buying some of the unusual items like dehydrated eggs and etc when we save up)
1. we never, ever, buy out of season vegetables unless they are a loss leader sale. when we find a fabulous sale (and i have the local stores trained) we buy in bulk, and can or dehydrate it.
buying, say, red bell peppers when i could get a case of "not going to keep much longer" for a few bucks, and drying them all, is way cheaper than buying three a week year round. and you automatically end up with "food storage"
Same with canning other goods
we get a sale on , say, ground beef because a store has a grand opening, or a loss leader…
we buy as much as we can and can it. (pressure cookers pay off in the long run).
when some shelf stable food like pasta or beans goes on sale i always buy at least one extra, and it goes right into the stores.
oh, i did forget to mention….
i stalk thrift stores for canning supplies and dehydrators (and clothes, and etc too.. every penny i save can be spent on something else!)
i never find food storage stuff in my city, but the local suburbs often have a great deal. a friend of mine who has great "thrift store fu" once found a CASE of new (shrink wrapped!) canning jars for 2 bucks
i never had such luck, but its always worth looking
Yard sales are an excellent source for canning jars and other supplies.
These are some really good ideas! I never thought of going to a thrift store to find canning supplies and dehydrators. I will go and take a look. Thanks for the advice.
well phrased and artistically compiled article..
Lauralee, thanks for the tips about collecting grocery sale items and about borrowing canning supplies from relatives. I will look in to doing this. Your post was very helpful!
Cherie- Thanks for the tip, especially since yard sale “season” is approaching